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Wednesday, February 11, 2009
Iranian Embassy in Islamabad marks anniversary of revolution
ISLAMABAD/NEW DELHI/LAHORE (APP) -- The Iranian Embassy in Islamabad marked the 30th anniversary of the victory of the Islamic Revolution in a ceremony on Monday.
Prior to start of the ceremony, children attired in school dresses presented national anthems of the two brotherly Muslim countries, Iran and Pakistan.
Chief guest, Pakistan’s Federal Minister for Labor and Manpower Syed Khursheed Ahmad Shah along with ambassador of Iran Mashaallah Shakeri cut the cake to begin the celebrations.
A number of diplomats attended the function.
Among others, Advisor to Prime Minister on Interior Rehman Malik, Minister of State for Industries and Production Ayatullah Durrani, Chairman Council of Islamic Ideology Dr. Khalid Masood, Custodian of Eidgah Shrine Pir Naqeeb-ur-Rehman, Begum Syeda Abida Hussain, Syed Fakhar Imam, former prime minister of AJK Barrister Sultan Mehmood, Kabir Ali Wasti and Lt. Gen. Hameed Gul were also present on the occasion.
Meanwhile, Iran has asked India to decide fast on Iran-Pakistan-India gas pipeline project, otherwise Tehran will sign deal with Pakistan bilaterally.
“Our agreement with Pakistan is designed in such a way that it has room for India if it wants to join in future. But we hope it will not be so long that there is no room left for India to join,” Iran’s Ambassador to India Seyed Mehdi Nabizadeh said while talking to newsmen in New Delhi.
When asked about security issues and differences on pricing of gas, he stated “though there are some issues of security in the way, we believe this issue can be addressed through bilateral and trilateral agreement.”
Referring to pricing issue, he said, “since price is governed by international finance structure, we can reach agreement on that.”
Iranian envoy said while it awaits India’s response, Iran is negotiating with Pakistan bilaterally.
Pakistan’s Federal Minister for Industries and Production, Mian Manzoor Ahmad Wattoo said in Islamabad on Monday that negotiations on gas pipeline from Iran have entered in the final stage.
He said that energy problem would be resolved by the year end to support industrial growth in the country.
He said that sufficient gas will also be available once the gas pipeline from Iran becomes operational for which negotiations were in final stage.
He was chairing meeting of the Review Committee to consider the allocation of the Natural gas to Fatima Fertilizer Company, which is under construction in Sadiqabad.
Federal Minister for Water and Power, Raja Pervez Ashraf, Secretary industries and Production, Shahab Khawaja and other senior officers of concerned Ministries and departments were also present on the occasion.
The Government is working hard to solve the power and gas problems as this is imperative for industrial development, he added.
Mian Manzoor Wattoo said that the problems of power and gas to the industries would be resolved on priority basis to ensure economic growth, adding that the government was encouraging alternative resources development program on public-private partnership basis.
The Minister said that the case for additional demand of the Fatima Fertilizer is under consideration of the Ministry of Petroleum and Natural Resources for feasibility study and on receiving of their recommendation the demand would be finalized.
It is pertinent to mentioned here that the Fatima Fertilizer had applied for 110 MMCFD but the ECC of the Cabinet in its meeting held in August 2004 had approved allocation of 75 MMCFD gas to Fatima Fertilizer from Mari gas field.
As per said ECC decision, the plant will come up into production in September of this year. Ministry of Industry and Production is monitoring the implementation of the project in national interest.
On the occasion, the Minister urged that the plant should be completed on scheduled time as country needed fertilizer for agriculture development.
He directed that the case of extra gas demand should also be forwarded to the Planning Commission for study and recommendation, saying that on receiving the report, the final decision would be made in next morning.
He directed the Ministry of Petroleum and Natural Resources to submit the technical feasibility report and directed Ministry of Water and Power to submit its input and output report on the matter.
These reports would be reviewed in the next meeting to be held in the second week of next month.
Pakistani Punjab’s Governor Salman Taseer underlined the need for promoting bilateral relations between Pakistan and Iran.
“Pakistan have old and brotherly relations with Iran and attaches great importance to its ties with Iran,” he said while addressing a function held in connection with the 30th anniversary of Islamic revolution of Iran at local hotel.
Stressing the need for completing Pakistan, Iran and India gas pipeline project, he said this project would help in overcoming the energy crises in the country.
“Pakistan is importing 100 MW electricity from Iran for Gawadar Port while an agreement will be soon signed to import 1000 MW from Iran,” he added.
He said Pakistan and Iran should enhance their cooperation in trade, industrial and other sectors “Trade volume between both the countries is one billion dollar which should be enhanced,” he added
He said that Pakistan will not allow the terrorists to use its soil for terrorism against Iran adding full force would be utilized against terrorists to maintain peace in the region.
“Pakistan will continue its support for peaceful atomic energy program of Iran, “he said.
The governor also congratulated the Iranian government for launching satellite.
Iranian Consulate General in Lahore Saeed Khurzai also spoke on the occasion.